Learn the Thriller Dance

On October 30th, 2010, I performed the Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance in multiple East-side Milwaukee bars.  And in one private party to which I wasn't invited.  

Dressed as a pirate.  With about 20 strangers and my college roommate, who were also dressed as pirates. 

Nope, I’m not kidding. I can sense you judging already…let me rewind the clock about a week.

In late October I made plans to go visit my old college roommate over Halloween.  As a physical therapy major, she’s still finishing up some graduate school at Marquette, so we were looking forward to a Halloween night out in Mil, just like we used to :)

Halloween 2008

Anyway, she suggested going on a bar crawl on Saturday night with a swing dance group that she had recently joined.  She told me that she had been practicing for this bar crawl.

Hold the phone.  What?  Practicing?  For a bar crawl?  After swing dancing on Monday nights, are you just going to pound beers in anticipation of Halloween intoxication?

Yep, she confirmed…practicing, but not drinking practice. The leader of the swing dance troop was organizing a “flash mob” through Milwaukee on the Saturday before Halloween.  The group was going to carry around a PyP bomb amplifier/speaker and perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in the greater Mil area, unbeknownst to all other people out for some Halloween fun.

“Oh,” she said, “and for some reason, we’re dressing as pirates, so you might want to put something together.” Naturally, having no idea what I was getting into, I agreed.

That night, prior to we met at Adam’s (the dance instructor/organizer of this night’s festivities) apartment.  My pirate ensemble consisted of a striped shirt, a bandana, some boots, and a token hoop earring, which I quickly learned would not be appropriate.  People were DECKED OUT!  Spawn of Jack Sparrow style.  Check it out...

Decked out!

Luckily, Adam had a chest full of costume bits from prior years (this was the 3rd year running) that he let me rummage through in order to bring my costume up to par.  They ran a few “rehearsals” at Adam’s apartment, and then we were on our way, following a printed out pirate map that outlined our target bars.  This group was hilarious, ARG-ing at people along the street and substituting normal phrases for “Where is ye port o’ ship” (where are you from)?

Ali & I - Halloween 2010

In our first bar, we walked in and kept a low profile (or at least tried to be as inconspicuous as we could be with our group size and costumes).  After a quick round, I heard the song on the Pyp Bomb drown out the music in the bar.  “5-6-7!”screamed Adam.  All of a sudden 20-some-odd pirates were on their feet grooving to MJ and absolutely amusing and/or terrifying (still can’t decide which) the patrons of the bar.

Man did this group know their stuff!  They looked exactly like the music video.  I started out as the tag along photographer…but by the end of the night ended out jumping in with a few of the moves that I had learned from watching.

Check here for the video from the private party we "flash mobbed".  [Sorry my cinematographer skills are pretty lame].